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have a great weekend. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." it seems like all sweetness and light at the white house today as president obama began negotiations with congressional leaders to try and back the economy away from the so-called fiscal cliff. or use a less popular but more accurate term, to try to keep the year-end austerity bomb from raining sharp freely on the u.s. economy oh. >> obama: our challenge is to make sure that we're able to cooperate together, work together, find some common
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ground. my hope is that this is going to be the beginning of a fruitful process where we're able to come to an agreement that will reduce our deficit in a balanced way. >> eliot: once the meeting was over the congressional leaders all agreed that some sort of agreement was possible. democrats reid and pelosi were firm on the need to compromise and get things done quickly. >> we have the cornerstones of being able to work something out. we're both going to have to give up things that we know are a problem. >> we should have a goal in terms of how much deficit reduction. we should have a deadline before christmas. before should show milestones of success so that confidence can build as we solution. >> eliot: for their part republicans boehner and mc mcconnell agreed that that
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some sort of agreement was possible. >> we should show our seriousness. we've put revenue on the payable.. >> eliot: earlier this week president obama met with labor and business leaderrers to get their insights opposite the fiscal cliff. this afternoon he also met with leaders of civic organizations and other outside groups it on theish. among them my first guest marc morial. welcome. >> thank you eliot. >> it was a great meeting. us were very interested in middle income, working income, and poor americans. the president, i felt, was in a
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great mood. he was optimistic that some compromise could be reached some budget deal could be reached, and he was very firm in i think in understanding that the election gives him i think more authority and a very strong hand to do something that is consistent with his principles, but also in the best interest of all americans. for our point for our part we emphasize the need for there to be the continuation of tax cuts for middle and working class americans. it would be devastating. they would go off the cliff and experience as much as an average of $3,000 a year tax increase which many americans just cannot afford. so we to maintain those middle income tax cuts. we also have to be very firm that deep cuts in human
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investment programs, i'm talking about housing program job training programs, head start and education programs would also be devastating for the poor and also force many people who have already born the brunt of the recession have experienced cuts already to experience for pain. we're optimistic, and i think it was a very good meeting. >> eliot: are the parameters of the deal taking place are good once. you referred to the tax cuts and the election. those things put the negotiating position in a positive posture. do you think the president will the $1.6 trillion that he wants from this? >> i think the president is in insistence on, and we support him on having a balanced plan, a
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plan for which there are revenue enhancements, and for which there are going to be expenditure cuts and expenditure control going into the future. this is not just about one year. this is about a framework of the future. i do believe that the president is not prepared to yield because the country heard his arguments during the campaign about the need for the highest incomes to sacrifice. governor this is about shared sacrifice. i would contend to you that working and middle income americans have already sacrificed with high joblessness, the difficulty coming back, and cuts that have taken place already. so it's about all americans sacrificing for there to be shared prosperity into the future. >> one of the mcconnell said, he said that the entitlement programs need to reflect the demographics of american.
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i'm not sure what he's alluding to. we're living longer, and so we should be raising the threshold qualifications for social security or medicare. he didn't come out and say that, but do you think that's what republicans are arguing now. >> i italy there has always been some unnecessary assault on social security. social security is not a program contributing to the current deficit problem. let's be absolutely clear about that. i think that will is--i think there is room in some of the entitlement programs to be reforms, but not radical changes like vouchers or premium support to medicare like you hear some argued. mitch mcconnell as he always does, he's clever, crafty, and he takes out a position that gives him the strongest negotiating leverage vis-a-vis the president. i think there was tremendous
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support in the room that we were in today for medicare, medicaid, and social security. these safety net programs define us as a country as compassionate compassionate. defines us as a country that stands for poor americans. and defines us that we understand that these are programs that have worked, and reforming them in a way that doesn't hurt people is something that we have to discuss. radical changes in those programs i simply think are not going to find much support. >> eliot: you're exactly right. everybody should understand that's why it's worth repeating social security does not contribute to the deficit. we're talking about hundreds of different ways to make social security solvent. mr. mayor, you understand politics whether boehner get votes from the tea party that revenue enhancement that has got to be part of this package?
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>> i think the challenge for boehner. it will be a test for john boehner's leadership to find the votes within his caucus, to meet the president and others halfway. he has got to come halfway. certainly the president has got to come halfway. that's what this is about. >> eliot: i agree with you. the president has already gone halfway. i think they'll end up meeting his number. winning in politics brings consequences. new orleans mayor marc moriel. thank you for coming on the program. i'm joined by the one and only congressman barney frank. congressman, thank you for joining us. >> great to be here. for >> eliot: for all the good well and happy talk is there a deal being framed up right now? >> i don't know. i hope there is. we've known there was substantively, but there has to be republicans who understand that sticking with
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this deficit reduction coming out of domestic programs, and you expand military spending, and you don't increase tax on the wealthy clearly the election said that's not the right way to go. i know there are republicans who would like to not go down with that tea party ship. maybe they're showing enough influence not to do it. >> eliot: one thing that i don't get, the president, it's reported said that he wants $1.6 trillion in revenues. the number everyone has been looking for is 4 trillion-dollar. why negotiating already for anything than one-to-one ratio. >> because a big chunk comes from afghanistan respending the money and making the military cuts.
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one of the big differences--look, for the first time since george mcgovern, 1972, a great man we just lost, would say no, i'm not going to spend as much on the military as you are. for the first time ever we won on that argument. i accept that. if all of that $2.4 trillion was coming out of social security, medicaid, out of education, it would be different. but i think we should be taking half of that $2.4 trillion comes out of the military. with that you have a reasonable deal. >> eliot: you're right. if the $1.2 trillion are built into the deal, but when it comes to domestic spending or the non-tax side of this the republicans are getting awfully gnarly on the defense spending. >> i agree. last year earlier this year for the first time in my memory, 32 first time in a very long
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time, even before that a majority of the house voted to reduce military spending below what the committee did. and that included the tea party guys. i tell you this, if we get an agreement on some spending cuts those tea party guys will join in. look at the vote ron paul got it was a big chunk of the public that knew that. conceptionally it was a big deal. >> eliot: that is exactly right. it would have been an odd coalition that would get us there. do you think it's plausible by year's end there is an agreement that details each of the elements of the budget cuts or is there going to be something more conception you'll and kick the can down the road. >> i think a middle ground. you can't go just on a wish or a prayer, but i think there will be enough binding stuff. there could be. one of the things i wasn't at the meeting i really don't know. one of these arguments is
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it's a myth that it's easier to reduce deductions than to raise the rates. politically that's opposite than the truth. that's where they're talking about restricting deductions. they don't talk about the deductions they want to restrict. two things. it is tree important to put off the sequester. taxes go up on january 15th, and they're retroactively reduced february 1st, there would have to be a binding framework to be filled in with default numbers. that's the way you deal with that. >> eliot: you said something incredibly important. which is its easier to raise rates from 35 to 39.6 than to close the loopholes. the ease answer for years has been to close loop holes. but there aren't
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loopholes to close politically. do you think boehner will come back and say i don't want 39.6, and i want 38 and there will be a compromise. >> i think so. you say let's see what we can do in reductions. if i was starting a country i wouldn't have home mortgage deduction. but it's built in the purchase of homes and the way that the housship the housing is in, you shouldn't fool with it, i think it could work is to be committed to this, there are two ways to go. do you want to go after the deductions or the rates. the deductions will hit more people than the rates at the very top. >> eliot: the thing that worries me about the deductions, you begin to chip away and hurt the middle class than the upper income stratum. >> when mitt romney said, he said pick a number.
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hell of a way to policy, $25,000. that's the limit on your deduction. if you limit deduction to $25,000, people in new york city and, they're going to lose their home mortgage deduction. that wouldn't cover the first five or six years of a mortgage of a home in large parts of new york and massachusetts. >> eliot: the not for profits will go crazy the deduction for state and local taxes, it seems impossible that you would get the votes to repeal those. >> that's why i'm satisfied that we do the $1.6 trillion and let's try to do it out of the deductions because in the end they're going to see the rates--it's a cleaner way to do it and politically it's less damaging. the other point we keep saying we're talking about what, $40 per thousand. people who are already making $250,000 a year, and apparently the argument is, well, after
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they make 250 in taxable income and they have another chance to make another 1,000, they won't do it because they'll only profit $960. that's farfetched. >> eliot: every piece of study has proven that arguments holds no water. thank you. tensions are escalateing. we have the current state of the middle east coming right up on "viewpoint." you know who is coming on to me now? you know the kind of guys that do reverse mortgage commercials? those types are coming on to me all the time now. (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking?
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15 succeeded in setting their houses on fire. at christmas, there was a lot of driving over the river and through the woods. and a little bit of skidding on the ice and taking out grandma's garage door. so while you're celebrating, allstate will be standing by. trouble never takes a holiday. neither should your insurance. that's allstate's stand. are you in good hands? ♪ ♪
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>> eliot: at long last we know the shelf life of a hostess twinkie. 82 years. that's how long they last on the shelf. the first twinkie's came out of an illinois bakery in 1930. they became part of the american landscape. it helped make us what we are today for good or bad. that's coming to an end. hostess are liquidating the company today after repeated trips to bankruptcy court and a long battle with their workers union. it's hard to imagine a world without twinkies but then again when was the last time you actually ate one or fed one to your kids. sure it was part of our childhoods but so was driving out seat belts or going to the beach with suntan oil.
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the twinkie will probably not be gone for good. we'll see twinkies back on >>you couldn't say it any more powerfully than that. >>it really is incredible. rael continue an escalation of their conflict? we begin with the testimony of general petraeus. the testimony was closed to the public but inside members were shown realtime video of the attack taken by predator drone. petraeus believed immediately it
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was a terrorist act and opinions were changed by released. i assured that changes were not made for political reasons. he concluded that ambassador's rice intelligence reflected the best intelligence at the time that could be released publicly. >> the problem with what susan rice is not what she had stuck shuck with it. she went beyond that. >> meanwhile, gas are a firing rockets, and israel responded by removing 16,000 reswervist troops to the border. today strongly asserted egypt's support, i repeat.
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he warned that quote, egypt today is different from egypt yesterday today are different from the asias yesterday. joining me now pj crowley. now a professor at george washington university. thank you for joining us. >> a pleasure, eliot. >> eliot: it seems to me with all this screaming and shouting about susan rice's testimony. the only thing that struck me for legitimate upset might be that general petraeus has said he believed it was a terrorist and the u.n. ambassador said originally it was not that. is that a legitimate area of some investigation by congress? >> in fairness to susan rice. she did not say it was an act of terrorist. she didn't rule it out either.
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she made clear her understanding of what happened would evolve over time. the significance of general petraeus on the hill is begin a more fullsome process to answer questions that still don't have complete answers. the second dimension will be the completion of the accountability review board the arb that the state department is working on and will be released next month by secretary of state hillary clinton. i'm confident through these processes we'll understand through the best of our knowledge what exactly happened and put statements in their proper contexts. >> eliot: look the wild conspiracy theories just seem so crazy and off the wall i don't think they merit discussion. one piece going forward is how this would effect the president's decision about whom and when to nominate to be secretary of state. how do you see this playing out in that contact? >> i think it's a very, very
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dangerous situation. now there are people who are saying they would not support susan rice to be secretary of state. that as any senator that's his or her right to cast vote as appropriate. mccain said that susan rice is unqualified to be secretary of state because of what he sees as misleading statements in the context of bengahzi. that takes me back to eight years ago when condi rice was nominated to be secretary of state. she was a very good secretary of state but was also guilty of significant misleading statements regarding iraq, the mushroom cloud being the most significant. if john mccain admitting that susan rice is not qualified is does that mean that condoleezza rice was not either. >> eliot: i think i heard you
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say the fact that one statement made one that was factually inaccurate, rice was involved in the decision process that got her to her conclusion where susan rice was not involved in the decision process that got her to the misstatement that she's being charged with. >> that's absolutely right. as president obama has said, i think president obama reiterate reiterated, elections matter. the president has the right to form a national security cabinet, people surrounding him that he has confidence in given the weighty issues you've outlined in the opening. it's been 20, 25 years since we went through a very difficult process regarding john tower nominated by president bush to be secretary of defense. that poison the political waters for some time. it turned out that president bush got a pretty good secretary of defense in dick cheney.
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i'm curious and cautious as to whether the republicans really want to go down this road. >> eliot: what the tower did for the defense process. let's switch gears to a couple miles east. to defuse or is it possible to dee fuse what is going on right now between israel and hamas welcome. >> it's very difficult because the landscape, you know, surrounding gaza has been transformed since we went through this kind of spasm in in 2008. and every potential player here is having to recalculate and it's very difficult to control this. the united states has some cards to play but they're not very strong cards. >> eliot: what role is egypt playing? morsi has been hard to understand. is he going to be an useful advocate in getting hamas to
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back down or is going to have to play to his domestic audience and continue to back up hamas. >> he has got a very difficult political road to play. he has competing constituencies, and interests. as i know, you know, there is a potential opportunity here. president obama prior to the election was very candid in saying morsi is not yet friend, not adversary. there is an opportunity to find a way to work together to help keep a lid on this crisis. to me i see a parallel between the dilemma that morsi is presented and the dilemma that governor chris christie was presented. he has an affinity for the muslim brotherhood. hamas is part of that movement. by the same token, egypt has dramatic and vital interests t help the egyptian economy recover from the arab spring.
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he'll need outside support including the united states he'll have to decide where egypt's long-term is. >> eliot: the is a metaphor. that's why a professor and a wise one. pj crowley. thank you as always for your insights. susan lucci
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>> eliot: still to come, why we need voting rights act now as much as every. but first colbert does soap opera, biden does comedy, and kathy and hoda drink wine. when it doesn't fit anywhere else we put it in the viewfinder. >> okay, it's just not believable any more. i think the news has jumped the shark. >> delighted to have you here. on behalf of the president and
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myself. >> mr. vice president, i'm deepbly greaterdeepdeepbly flattered. there is just no way you could take over. >> do you think hillary got herself away from this thing? she's in australia. the international space you station wasstationwas closed. >> i always sleep away from the door. my ex-husband slept by the door. >> so does pretty much the. seventh fleet. >> bottom line, it's a soap opera, and it is done. >> this is far from over. general petraeus has developed amnesia and can't remember that he's pregnant. by his own evil twin who is in a coma.
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and is my lover. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> last night mitt romney broke into disney world and installed an model of himself in the hall of presidents. >> i like being able to-- >> presidentmessage from president romney. [ laughing ] >> i still think it's. [ bleep ] >> yeah, you're probably right. >> eliot: it's a good thing it's friday. just because the election is over doesn't mean we should lose sight of the importance of the voting right (vo) cenk uygur is many things. >>oh really?
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>>tax cuts don't create jobs. the golden years as the conservatives call them, we had the highest tax rates, and the highest amount of growth, and the highest amount of jobs. those are facts. >>"if you ever raise taxes on the rich, you're going to destroy our economy." not true!
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couldn't. >> eliot: a law that protects voting rights for all races and colors is now under clothe. since 1965 a section of the voting rights act has kept a watchful eye on certain states. counties and townships with a history of bad civil rights behavior. section five of the act says places with history of trying to restrict voting and preparationtation because of race must get permission from the department of justice in washington before changing any voting districts or procedures. this strange roster of miscreants even include new york
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new york's own borough of manhattan. but most areas on the list are in the southern united states. as mentioned on last night's show, the suit has now reached the supreme court. let's bring in dale ho assistant counsel on the political participation group for the naacp legal defense and education fund. >> thank you for me. >> eliot: whywhy does shelby county feel aggrieved. >> shelby county is saying they actually no longer need section 5 of the voting rights act because the fight free process is over. while it's true that the nation has seen progress since 1965, we're unfortunate not at the place where everyone can participate on full footing. >> eliot: now we're in a very odd moment that those who want the tricks structures of section 5
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want to be lift, but many say yes we only succeed in doing that because the voting right acts was used to strike down voter right laws that would disenfranchise thousands. >> we've seen a lot of progress. and with respect to racial discrimination and voting is really a product of voting rights act itself. had we seen enough progress that we no longer see the act i think two things stand out. first we have problems with election administration. we saw these tremendously long lines, for instance n the state of florida. everyone before the election wanted to know which state is going to be the next florida. well, florida turned out to be still florida. the last ballot was cast in florida at 1:00 a.m. that means that person had to wait in line well over five hours to exercise the most fundamental right of our democracy. >> eliot: that was not
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necessarily a racially based act on the part of the state of florida. that was massive under investment and antiquated process that we've created for everyone to vote. what is the reason that certain counties need to change before we change voting process. >> places for the most part who have earned their place on that list as a result of history of discrimetation and i don't know i don't know ongoing problems. in 2008 more than half african-americans use the early voting program. they didn't have problems with early voting until that happened happened. then two years later in 2010 they decided they wanted to cut back on early voting and the section five act prevented the state from taking even more draconian cuts. the lines would have been worse.
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>> you're making the argument that i agree with. many of these voting processes changes that were implemented this year were motivated by bipartisanship. what does the justice department say? you can't do it? >> yes, if they want to change their voting laws they have two options. they can go to the department of justice and ask for permission, or they can sue in federal court and ask for permission there. what is interesting in this recent redistricting cycle, a lot of states decided we don't want to go to the justice department. we want our day in court. texas is one of those places. texas is one of those states who are arguing they don't need the voting acts any more. texas legislature had intentionally discriminateed against blacks and latino, and two of those justices were
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appointed by president bush. people across the political spectrum when they look at the evidence of what is going on in these places that is covered by section 5, there is still dig crime nation. >> eliot: the rumbling that i hear is that the supreme court might very well pare back section 5 of the voting rights act, in which case the judge who is reviewed the texas law would lose their capacity to do that. >> that's absolutely right. we have are in a situation where we have a statute going up to the supreme court. whenever that happens there is concern because this court has not always been the most hospitable when it comes to civil rights issues. this is the most important civil rights statute and they'll hopefully see the need for it. >> eliot: this is a court that is hostile to civil rights and likes to be favorably disposed
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towards state rights. they may say we don't want to protector civil rights, and we will give states the ability to do what they want. >> that's certainly possible and that's something we'll have to guard against. >> eliot: who is the swing vote? >> it's hard to tell. justice kennedy is obviously an important vote in this case. i mentioned texas and it's redistricting. during the last redistricting cycle justice kennedy road an it bore the mark of potential discrimination to hispanic voters. i think he is an aware of what these states try to do and hopefully will see things our way. >> eliot: my prediction is that he leaves roberts out with a conservative crew. dale o, thanks for stopping by. >> thank you for having me.
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>> eliot: the makings of a great judge, and chris christie >>you couldn't say it any more powerfully than that. >>it really is incredible. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] safe driving bonus check? what is that? so weird, right? my agent, tom, said... [ voice of dennis ] ...only allstate sends you a bonus check for every six months you're accident-free... ...but i'm a woman. maybe it's a misprint. does it look like a misprint? ok. what i was trying... [ voice of dennis ] silence. ♪ ♪ ask an allstate agent about the safe driving bonus check. are you in good hands?
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>> eliot: wrapping up another crazy week in the world of politics with the every outspoken charles pierce and what are the qualities that make for a good judge? i'll offer now to my point. (vo) jennifer granholm ... >>for every discouraged voter, action. trickle down does not work. in romney's world, cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft. that is a whole bunch of bunk. the powerful may steal an election, but they can't steal democracy.
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[ forsythe ] we don't just come up here for the view up in alaska. it's the cleanest, clearest water. we find the best sweetest crab for red lobster that we can find. [ male announcer ] hurry in to red lobster's crabfest! the only time of year you can savor 5 succulent crab entrees all under 20 dollars. like a half-pound of tender snow crab paired with savory grilled shrimp, just 12.99. or our hearty crab and roasted garlic seafood bake. [ forsythe ] if i wouldn't put it on my table at home, i wouldn't bring it in. my name's jon forsythe and i sea food differently.
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. >> eliot: it's now been over a week since president obama handily defeated mitt romney and the facts handily defeated karl rove. we learned that while the writing was on the wall, some how most of the g.o.p. including romney himself did not see it
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coming. we learned that the conservative movement does not know who to blame or where to go next. finally we learned that the voice of reason in the republican party now belongs to of all people chris christie. disagrees with mitt romney that the loss was a result of president obama giving gifts to minorities, christie had a more realistic idea. >> someone asked me the other day why did mitt romney lose? because he got less votes than barack obama. i voted for mitt romney but the bottom line is we lost. what we need to as leaders of our part is to if we do, they will put us back into office. and if we don't, they won't. >> eliot: that is what you call sophisticated analysis. joining me now with his tack, is charles pierce contributing writer to esquire.
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>> hello eliott. >> eliot: did we get over fact over fiction. >> it's a lose but they'll be back. >> eliot: you think the republican party will come back around their narrative of the world and try to reassert it or shift and a new game plan is necessary. >> leaving chris christie out of this for a second because i really do believe he understands what is going on, but the republican base is made up of a lot of people who are completely vested in what are self investigating saying sensible things about immigration, but that's fine except bobby jindal is a pro-life fanatic. your gender gap is still going to be as wide as the english channel.
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marco rubio has the same problem. until this roiling mass of unreality and irrationality that imagination up what the republican base believes is extrapolateed i don't think how they move forward. >> eliot: the internal inconsistentcies there are legion and it's impossible to bring one person who brings together all the rational views. let's go through them, on immigration the republican party understands with latino voters being an increasingly important piece of block we had congressman goodie gutierrez said it's fundamental. do you think we'll have
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immigration reform because of that realization. >> because its set at the federal level you will see that. but once again the real problem with the constitutional republican party that exists at the local and state levels. that's your farm team. in a lot of places there is just this incredible stew of religious crack pots and let's get rid of the gold standard ron paul types. and there are going to have anchors tied to their ankles. >> eliot: i agree with your take and as a democrat it's good news because it will be hard for the republican party to regroup through a set of policies to be meaningful competitive. i think they'll try to peel off immigration. they've got theological wing of their party that won't let go on that one. but my sense is that john boehner would like to fight
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these issues just on economics. he doesn't want to deal with the social stuff. he views that as baggage. if boehner had his way we would be fighting just over taxes. he thinks he has the upper hand on that one. >> but they're still wedded to supply-side economics. it's just as a nutty idea as creationism. it's just a different context. every reputable economist will tell that you it doesn't work but they cannot breakaway. boehner seems to be trying a little bit but i don't buy this whole thing of closing the loopholes and having the upper 1% sacrifice a little buttnier money is moving us closer to equity. but i think boehner is nudging closer on that issue. >> eliot: i don't know that he
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equates supply side with creationism. i think supply side is nutty and creationism is three steps beyond it. the democratic party scored a huge win. the senate races were a huge win. but it seems to me there is not a coherent narrative coming out of the white house, and they came out and spoke on same sex issues, the healthcare act, it was not until late in the game that there was coherence to what he was saying. he needs to give us a better framework for what he wants to do? >> yes he's in an interesting place. his natural tendency is to let congress be congress, and let himself be the president, then you negotiate what comes out of both institutions. with the amount of leverage he has right now i think it's time for him to abandon that view of the way government should work. that has not been said.
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one of the interesting problems he has is that a lot of this new leverage comes from the new senators who were elected some of them in a surprise election, some not but most of them are substantially to the left of him in a lot of these issues. i know tammy baldwin, elizabeth warren up here. the pushing all of a sudden bernie sanders who has been making a coherent case for economic reform for a long time has more allies than a week and a half ago. that will make it interesting to look at. >> eliot: the take away could be that bernie sanders has new friends. >> exactly and more clout. >> eliot: a bit more cloud. the tea party drove congress until this november, and it could be the case that we now have a progressive caucus that will be a counterweight on the other side that could balance things out and give the president leverage, let's hope so. >> at least widen the dialogue of what we should be doing. contributing writer for esquire charles pierce. thank you for joining us
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Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer
Current November 17, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PST

News/Business. (2012) (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 10, Boehner 7, Susan Rice 7, Florida 6, Texas 5, Allstate 4, Chris Christie 4, Eliot 4, Obama 3, Egypt 3, Vo 3, Crowley 2, John Boehner 2, United States 2, Morsi 2, Forsythe 2, Bush 2, Dennis 2, Bernie Sanders 2, Shelby 2
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